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    Complete City of Pasadena Water Ordinance 

    Report Water Waste 

    Water Saving Tips & Rebates 


    Governor Declares Water Drought Emergency 

    Gov. Jerry Brown declared that California is in a drought emergency, as the state experiences its driest year in recorded history. In addition, Pasadena is calling for increased voluntary conservation. PWP promotes the principle that wise water practices should be pursued in all years, regardless of the weather conditions.

    Pasadena’s Permanent Water Supply Shortage Ordinance remains in place. Thirteen instances of water waste remain permanently prohibited, with enforcement, in PWP’s service territory.


    The following is a summary of the key components in the Water Shortage Procedures Ordinance. Click here to read or print the unabridged ordinance.

    The following instances of water waste that are permanently prohibited at all times:

    • No watering outdoors between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., except with a hand-held container or hose with a shut-off nozzle, or for very short periods when adjusting a sprinkler system;
    • No watering during periods of rain;
    • No excessive water flow or runoff onto pavement, gutters or ditches from watering or irrigating landscapes or vegetation of any kind;
    • No washing down paved surfaces unless for safety or sanitation, in which case a bucket, a hose with a shut-off nozzle, a cleaning machine that recycles water or a low-volume/high-pressure water broom must be used;
    • All property owners must fix leaks, breaks or malfunctions when they find them, or within seven days of receiving a notice from PWP;
    • Fountains and water features must have a re-circulating water system;
    • Vehicles must be washed with a hand-held bucket and/or hose equipped with a water shut-off nozzle (does not apply to commercial car washes);
    • Restaurants may not serve drinking water unless by patron's request;
    • Restaurants must use water-saving dish wash spray valves;
    • No installation of non-recirculating water systems at new commercial car washes and laundry systems;
    • Effective July 1, 2010, all commercial car washes must have a re-circulating water system or secure a city waiver;
    • Hotels and motels must give guests the option to decline daily bed linen and towel changes; and 
    • No installation of “single pass cooling systems” in buildings requesting new water service.

    The city’s “Water Shortage Level” will tell you how many days per week you can water outdoors and other water use restrictions.

    In the event that a water shortage is declared by City Council, they will also declare which of four "Water Shortage Levels" exists. The Level will indicate which other water use restrictions will take effect in addition to the permanent water waste prohibitions listed above. 

    Water Shortage Level 





    # of watering days per week*

     Apr. 1-Oct. 31  

     ONLY 3 DAYS MAX -Tues, Thurs. & Sat. ONLY   

    Nov. 1-Mar. 31 

     CHOOSE ONLY 1 DAY - Either Tues., Thurs. OR Sat. 

    2 Summer 

    1 Winter 

    1 Summer 

    1 Winter 

    No Irrigation 

    Obligation to fix leaks, breaks and malfunctions 

    72 hours 

    48 hours 

    36 hours 

    24 hours 

    Additional restrictions 


    No filling ornamental lakes or ponds; no washing vehicles

    No filling ornamental lakes or ponds; no washing vehicles 

    No filling ornamental lakes or ponds; no washing vehicles; no fillings pools or spas; no new potable water service 

     * PWP, at its sole discretion, may make exceptions to these restrictions for extenuating circumstances. See PMC Sections 13.10.040 to .050 in the Water Waste Prohibition ordinance. 

    Warnings and fines will be used to enforce the ordinance. 

    PWP will work closely with customers to provide helpful information and issue written warnings for first offenses. However, homeowners and small-business customers with meter sizes smaller than 1 ½” who continue to violate the ordinance will face fines of $100 - $500 for future violations. Fine amounts are double for customers with meters of 1 ½” or larger. Flow restrictors may also be used to achieve compliance. A customer does have the right to a hearing if a written request is received by PWP within ten (10) days of the date of notification. See PMC Sections 13.10.065 to .095 in the Water Waste Prohibition ordinance for details on fines. 

    Documents and Additional Information:

    Council Approves "Comprehensive Water Conservation Plan"(Agenda Report, April 13, 2009) 

    Conservation measures in addition to those specified in Water Shortage Plan 

    Water Tips and Rebates 

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